While the Baltimore Ravens overall are having one of the better seasons on offense that they have had in recent years, that has been primarily based on the improvements made in the passing game, with the front office surrounding quarterback Joe Flacco with three new wide receivers and drafting two high-pedigreed tight ends to throw the ball.
The running game had been their strength over the course of the past couple of seasons as they unearthed Alex Collins, but the offense has not been able to get the ground game going so far this year. And they probably shouldn’t expect new running back—former wide receiver—Ty Montgomery to be any kind of spark of life.
While they only gave up a 2020 seventh-round pick in order to get Montgomery, who figures mainly to replace Buck Allen as the third-down back, is not exactly some sort of dynamic player who is likely to make much of a difference for the Ravens.
Obviously the Green Bay Packers agreed, or they wouldn’t have been willing to give him up for such little compensation. After finding a new starter, Montgomery has run the ball just 26 times for 105 yards and one touchdown, though he does have 170 receiving yards on 15 receptions, something of an anomaly with a 43-yarder boosting the average.
For the Ravens, Collins has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry so far this year on 98 rushing attempts, though he has five rushing touchdowns. He also has one receiving touchdown on 14 receptions for 101 yards. He also continues to fumble, with three this year after four last season.
In 2017, Collins started 12 of 15 games, rushing for 973 yards at 4.6 yards per attempt with six touchdowns. He came as something of a revelation to a Ravens running game that has been floundering for the past several years.
But there are only so many offensive linemen you can bleed out from free agency before it catches up to you. The Ravens have lost a number of starters in free agency over the past five years, and also have dealt with an uncommon number of injuries.
The issue is more so up front than in the backfield, so while Montgomery might be a slight upgrade in some respects (and will also contribute on special teams), he is not exactly about to change the team’s fortunes when it comes to getting improved play from the running back position.
Against the Steelers earlier this season, Collins gained 42 yards on the ground on 11 attempts. He only caught one pass for three yards, but it was a touchdown reception. Buck Allen had just 30 yards on 10 more attempts, but that just shows that there is room for Montgomery to fit in.